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Digital Technology: Adult Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL10996, tabled on 1 December 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to increase basic digital skills education programmes for adults.

Answered on

16 December 2020

The government recognises the importance of digital skills for employability and participation in society. This is why we introduced a legal entitlement in August 2020 so adults with no or low digital skills have the opportunity to undertake new digital qualifications free of charge. This new entitlement mirrors the existing legal entitlements for English and maths and will provide adults with the digital skills needed for life and work.

The digital entitlement is supported by new Essential Digital Skills qualifications (EDSQs) at entry level and level 1. EDSQs are a new qualification type, based on new national standards for essential digital skills, designed to meet the diverse needs of adults with no or low digital skills.

The new digital skills entitlement, and our wider reforms, will ensure that only digital skills qualifications based on the new national standards will be approved for funding up to level 1, providing learners with high quality qualifications that equip them with the full range of essential digital skills needed for life, work and further study.

In April 2020, we launched The Skills Toolkit, which consists of over 70 free, high quality courses from everyday maths and essential digital skills, to digital marketing and coding.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, has also announced a series of Skills Bootcamps which will provide valuable skills based on employer demand and linked to real job opportunities, such as digital skills. These will help adults to land jobs, and employers to fill much-needed vacancies. In September 2020, these were introduced in the West Midlands, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, and Liverpool City Region, initially focusing on digital skills such as software development, digital marketing, and data analytics.